World Economy

Zimbabwe to Clear $1.7b Debt

Zimbabwe to Clear $1.7b DebtZimbabwe to Clear $1.7b Debt

Zimbabwe expects to make up for all its debt arrears of $1.7 billion to major international lenders by September and could return to international capital markets thereafter, the Reserve Bank deputy governor said, Bulawayo24 reported. Once one of Africa’s most promising economies, Zimbabwe suffered decades of decline under former president Robert Mugabe and has been shut out of international capital markets since it began defaulting on its external debt in 1999. In 2016, Zimbabwe paid off 15 years’ worth of arrears to the International Monetary Fund. It is still years behind on payments to the World Bank and African Development Bank, however, hampering its ability to tap development financing from the two. “The ball is in our court, it is not with the IMF or the World Bank or the African Development Bank,” Khupikile Mlambo, deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, said in an interview on the sidelines of a London investment summit. Zimbabwe was working on the Lima plan—a payment plan agreed with foreign lenders in 2015 in the Peruvian capital. “We are on course for September for sure to repay,” Mlambo said.

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